Thursday, November 29, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/25/12 - And a One And a Two...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
In a few weeks something will happen that hasn't happened since 1987. What is it?
The answer, as far as we can tell, is simply that the year has four different digits: 0, 1, 2, 3 for next year, and 1, 7, 8, 9 for 1987. All the intervening years had double something: zeros (2001-2010), ones (2011), eights (1988), nines (1989-1998), or triple something: zeros (2000) or nines (1999).

Here's the problem with this puzzle: It's hard to hint about. Well, maybe you all could have done a fabulous job making meta-comments that didn't give the game away, but I literally couldn't think of a thing to say that wasn't too much of a giveaway. Mention that we thought it hard (which we did initially because we thought it had something to do with more than four digits, such as 12:12:12 on 12/12/12, but then realized nothing that interesting is going to happen in 2013 right away) and we led solvers on a wild goose chase. Mention that we both suddenly realized we were over-thinking it dreadfully...and it's now easier for some.

So, my apologies to Mendo Jim, who rightfully pointed out that some of you come here to discuss the puzzle and I wasn't letting you do that. In my defense--and lord knows I need one--I hope it's another 25 years before I have to issue such a gag order.

Here are some more numbers to crunch:







Click on any photo for more information.

Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200 -- Joe Kupe
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400 -- Curtis
401 - 450
451 - 500 -- Ross
 
501 - 550 -- EKW
551 - 600 -- skydiveboy
601 - 650 -- Paul
651 - 700
701 - 750 -- Dave
751 - 800 -- Magdalen
801 - 850 -- zeke creek
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- Barbara
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + new record
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print). 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/25/12 - Only 30 Shopping Days Left...

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
In a few weeks something will happen that hasn't happened since 1987. What is it?
Ross and I are not going to say anything about the puzzle. And we're going to ask that you not talk about it in the comments. Go to that "other" blog if you really have to say something.

Better yet, go to the famous NPR "Contact Us" form and tell them ALL about it!!

We hope everyone in our blog family had a warm, friendly and yummy Thanksgiving. THAT you can talk about all you want in the comments.

I'll help. Here are some photos of other people's Thanksgiving to inspire you. Click on any photo to see who, what, where, etc.:







Happy Holidays and shopping days from all of us at Casa Crossword to all of you!

Time for
This is where we ask you how many entries you think NPR will get for the challenge above. If you want to win, leave a comment with your guess for the range of entries NPR will receive. First come first served, so read existing comments before you guess. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. Ross and I guess last, just before we publish the Thursday post. After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed. The winner gets a puzzle book of our choosing.

There were roughly 370 entries for the ALPHA - ALOHA puzzle, so no one won last week.

You can win either a puzzle book or the warm glow of satisfaction knowing you're a generous person who caused a contribution to the Red Cross's fund for Superstorm Sandy victims. Guess the range for this week's puzzle, and good luck!

Here are the ranges:
Fewer than 50       
51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500

501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050         
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
More than 5,000 and it sets a new record.
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I just like having fine print). 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/18/12 Obama: The Alpha Dog from the Aloha State

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a familiar five-letter word in two syllables. Change the middle letter to the preceding letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a familiar five-letter word in three syllables. What words are these?
The answers are ALPHA & ALOHA.

Honestly, I have no idea how long it would have taken us to solve this, but we made some obvious deductions early on: had to start with a vowel, middle letter likely to be a B, F or P than a J or a V, etc. Still, it was nice not to have to struggle.

Photos: I don't think anyone got the mix of photos correct, but that may have something to do with the first one, which just screams "alpha dog" and not the actual title of the photo: Aloha. Anyway, you can click on all the photos, but for what it's worth, 1, 4 & 5 were ALOHA (the dogs, a picture of yes, Hawai'i, and Aloha Lake, the further of the two lakes in northeastern California), while 2, 3 & 6 were ALPHA (Mt. Alpha, Alpha & Beta Centauri--you have to look hard at the photo to see them, and the Alpha Theater).







Time for
Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450 -- Joe Kupe
451 - 500 -- Ross
 
501 - 550
551 - 600 -- KDW
601 - 650 -- Norrin2
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- Dave
851 - 900
901 - 950 -- skydiveboy
951 - 1,000 -- Magdalen
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250 -- EKW
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Laura
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + new record
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print). 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/18/12 - Now We Know

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
Think of a familiar five-letter word in two syllables. Change the middle letter to the preceding letter of the alphabet, and you'll get a familiar five-letter word in three syllables. What words are these?
I suspect this is hard, but we solved it because Ross developed a software program for his own use that chops up words in specific ways. A few deductions, hit enter and we had the answers.

You did it the old-fashioned way, so of course you've sent off your answer to NPR using this handy form NO LATER THAN WEDNESDAY, right? We'll post the usual Thursday blog a day early as well.

Photos: I looked up one word on Flickr, and then the other word. I've jumbled the photos up (3 of each word), so if you haven't solved the puzzle, I don't think this will do it for you. And if you have...have fun guessing which photos belong to the two words. You can mention your guess in the comments. Just put them into two groups of three (e.g., "1, 2 & 3 and 4, 5 & 6" -- you know already that's not the right answer). For obvious reasons, guessing where the photo was taken, or what the photo shows, is verboten. And yes, of course you can look up the words and figure out which photos go together. Where's the fun in that, though?







Time for
This is where we ask you how many entries you think NPR will get for the challenge above. If you want to win, leave a comment with your guess for the range of entries NPR will receive. First come first served, so read existing comments before you guess. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. Ross and I guess last, just before we publish the Thursday post. After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed. The winner gets a puzzle book of our choosing.

There were fewer than 1,400 entries, with Curtis the winner. Let me know, Curtis, if you want a puzzle book or a donation to the Red Cross for Superstorm Sandy Relief.

You too can win either a puzzle book or the warm glow of satisfaction knowing you're a generous person. (They're not mutually exclusive.) Guess the range for this week's puzzle, and you could win!

Here are the ranges:
Fewer than 50       
51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500

501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050         
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
More than 5,000 and it sets a new record.
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I just like having fine print). 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/11/12 - Anyone Found a Glass Slipper?

Ross here, with a confession to make: I just went in to add Paul's "pick a range" to Magdalen's draft post and somehow the whole thing disappeared and then got autosaved. How can that happen?! Oh, I'm going to be in so much trouble over this! So here I am rewriting the post for you.

First, the answer to this week's NPR Puzzle:

With one stroke of a pencil you can change a capital F into E; you can change an O into a Q, and so on. Write the phrase "LEAD PENCIL" in capital letters. Add a stroke to one letter and rearrange the result to name a classic movie. What is it?
We think the answer's Cinderella—the P becoming an R—and assume the 1950 Walt Disney version is the classic one referred to. The American Film Institute judges it the 9th greatest animated film (number one being Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs).

The answer to Magdalen's bonus challenge (adjust one letter in "BACCHANALS" and rearrange) is, of course, Casablanca. In this case, that H morphs into an A.

What would Magdalen have done for pictures this week? I'm guessing glass slippers, which folklorists incidentally think were originally furry slippers (the French word for squirrel fur "vair" being confused with "verre", the word for glass). Here goes:

Would you rather wear these?
Or these?

Would you rather wear these?
Or these?

Would you rather wear these?
Or these?

Time for Pick A Range:

Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550-- Joe Kupe
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850 -- Dave
851 - 900 -- Ross
901 - 950 
951 - 1,000 -- Laura
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Magdalen
1,201 - 1,250 -- EKW
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450 -- Kdubya
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650 -- skydiveboy
1,651 - 1,700-- Paul
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000 -- Marie
2,001 - 2,050 -- KDW
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + new record
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print). 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NPR Puzzle 11/11/12 - Bacchanals

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
With one stroke of a pencil you can change a capital F into E; you can change an O into a Q, and so on. Write the phrase "LEAD PENCIL" in capital letters. Add a stroke to one letter and rearrange the result to name a classic movie. What is it?
Ross was right -- I didn't need to use TEA to solve this! But I used TEA to find another classic movie. This time one letter needs a little adjustment, then rearrange the rest to turn "BACCHANALS" into the title. Enjoy.

Remember to be judicious with your hints. If in doubt, leave it out.

But you can be extravagant with your answer...as long as you're extravagantly sending it to the NPR contact form here.

UPDATE: I have sent out all recent prizes to Skydiveboy and Joe Kupe, and made a donation to the Red Cross's Hurricane Sandy relief effort in honor of David's win a couple weeks ago. I'll be happy to do that in lieu of a puzzle book for anyone who wins in the coming weeks. Which no one did this week...

Photos:

Okay, guys, this is cool. Sometimes I struggle to find interesting photos for you. I mean, really, how many misty country roads can you stand to look at, right? Today, I went looking for photos of pencils. I expected to come up with stuff like this (I'm all about the colors):


But then I started noticing these rather uncolorful pencils that just didn't look quite right. Turns out, a guy named Dalton Ghetti sculpts pencils in his spare time. Who knew graphite could be so pretty? Here's a sampling, but for the full effect, go here.






I gather you can buy posters of his various sculptures. Here's one just for Will Shortz:


Time for
This is where we ask you how many entries you think NPR will get for the challenge above. If you want to win, leave a comment with your guess for the range of entries NPR will receive. First come first served, so read existing comments before you guess. Or skip the comments and send an email with your pick to Magdalen (at) Crosswordman (dot) com. Ross and I guess last, just before we publish the Thursday post. After the Thursday post is up, the entries are closed. The winner gets a puzzle book of our choosing.

There were more than 1,400 entries, which no one one. Curtis guessed the range below and skydiveboy the range above. To paraphrase the Soup Nazi, "No puzzle books for you!" (Except the one skydiveboy already has coming to him, that is.)
 
Guess the range for this week's puzzle.

Here are the ranges:
Fewer than 50       
51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500

501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900
901 - 950
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050         
1,051 - 1,100
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200
1,201 - 1,250
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350
1,351 - 1,400
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

More than 5,000
More than 5,000 and it sets a new record.
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I just like having fine print). 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NPR Puzzlw 11/4/12 Crunch Granola Style

Here's this week's NPR Puzzle:
The words "organic" and "natural" are both commonly seen at health food stores. What other seven-letter word, also commonly seen at health food stores, has five letters in common with organic and five letters in common with natural?
I liked this one. The answer is GRANOLA, which shares O, R, G, N & A with ORGANIC and R, A N, L & A with NATURAL.

I looked at photos of granola over on Flickr. They exist, but boy are they boring. So I found a cat named Granola.

You're welcome.




Time for Pick A Range:

Here are this week's picks:
Fewer than 50
 51 - 100
101 - 150
151 - 200
201 - 250
251 - 300
301 - 350
351 - 400
401 - 450
451 - 500
 
501 - 550
551 - 600
601 - 650
651 - 700
701 - 750
751 - 800
801 - 850
851 - 900 -- Ross
901 - 950 -- Joe Kupe
951 - 1,000
1,001 - 1,050 -- David
1,051 - 1,100 -- Henry BW
1,101 - 1,150
1,151 - 1,200 -- Magdalen
1,201 - 1,250 -- EKW
1,251 - 1,300
1,301 - 1,350 -- Dave
1,351 - 1,400 -- Curtis
1,401 - 1,450
1,451 - 1,500 -- skydiveboy

1,501 - 1,550
1,551 - 1,600 -- KDW
1,601 - 1,650
1,651 - 1,700
1,701 - 1,750
1,751 - 1,800
1,801 - 1,850
1,851 - 1,900
1,901 - 1,950
1,951 - 2,000
2,001 - 2,050
2,051 - 2,100
2,101 - 2,150
2,151 - 2,200
2,201 - 2,250
2,251 - 2,300
2,301 - 2,350
2,351 - 2,400
2,401 - 2,450
2,451 - 2,500

2,501 - 2,750
2,751 - 3,000
3,001 - 3,250
3,251 - 3,500
3,501 - 4,000
4,001 - 4,500
4,501 - 5,000

 > 5,000
 > 5,000 + new record
Our tie-break rule:   In the event that a single round number is announced with a qualifier such as "about" or "around" (e.g., "We received around 1,200 entries."), AND two separate people picked the ranges of numbers just before and just after that round number, the prize will be awarded to whichever entrant had not already won a prize, or in the event that both entrants had won a prize already or neither had, then to the earlier of the two entries on the famous judicial principle of "First Come First Serve," (or in technical legal jargon, "You Snooze, You Lose").  As of July 2012, this rule is officially no longer obsolete (and also I still just like having fine print).